May 30, 2005
20: Beak Envy
The illustrious Illustration Friday’s word of the week is envy.
In the North American bird community, there's a dumpy, small, basking-in-beige group of species categorized as shorebirds, including critters like sandpipers, plovers and what-not. One species that stands out is the American avocet, an elegant wader that thrives on small prairie sloughs. Avocets stand about a foot high on long pale-blue legs with a slender bill turned upwards at the end, brilliant black-and-white patterning and a slim cinnamon-coloured neck.
At work, I occasionally spot them on rides at lunch – usually stilt-walking through shallow water among the blander, smaller sandpipers, who I'm sure would feel envy if they could. They're like supermodels among workaday schmoes.
The avocet in this drawing has been exaggerated some, but not much. It began as a pencil sketch – more of a cartoon – and was brought into Photoshop for the colour work. The background effect was made possible through Photoshop brushes downloaded from the portfolio site of Pennsylvania designer Keith Bowman (check out his kickass site here).
Created by Jeope at 22:39